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Thread: Handling a firearm on a motorcycle....HOW???

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    Regular Member vt800c's Avatar
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    Question Handling a firearm on a motorcycle....HOW???

    Ok..I like to ride, and I am starting to open carry...but here's the thing: if you have to 'unload' you can drop a magazine and cycle the slide in the privacy of your car. the most it will look like is you're adjusting your shorts. On a motorcycle i don't HAVE that luxury. In fact, to remove the rounds I have to unholster, remove a retaining lever, pull a pin, remove the cylinder from the frame, push out the rounds and then put it all back together. Loading it is the reverse.

    While my Earl is small enough to hide in my helmet as I am doing this..it still requires me to handle the firearm 'out in the open'.

    Any suggestions or advice? (No, getting a different gun or selling the motorcycle...well that just AIN'T gonna happen!)

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vt800c View Post
    Any suggestions or advice?
    Don't unload till you get home (unless it is into the BG tryin to kill you)

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    I'm guessing you don't ride a Goldwing like I do.

    And I'm guessing you must travel to/through places where you can't carry. Else there would be no need to unholster while you're riding. I figure if I need to use the firearm while I'm riding, I'll just have to take time to stop (or drop) the bike.

    And you're obviously carrying a revolver. I'd think unloading a semiautomatic might be less conspicuous, but don't want to tell you how or what to carry.

    Perhaps under your jacket?

    Though in actuality, when you stop and prepare to dismount, most people won't pay attention to what you're doing; they'll presume it's stowing gear or whatever. So small, unobtrusive movements may not be as obvious as you suspect.

    ETA - now that I've read your other post, I presume you wanted to unholster/unload at Sharpshooters. If folks there don't understand, who would????

    Quote Originally Posted by vt800c View Post
    Ok..I like to ride, and I am starting to open carry...but here's the thing: if you have to 'unload' you can drop a magazine and cycle the slide in the privacy of your car. the most it will look like is you're adjusting your shorts. On a motorcycle i don't HAVE that luxury. In fact, to remove the rounds I have to unholster, remove a retaining lever, pull a pin, remove the cylinder from the frame, push out the rounds and then put it all back together. Loading it is the reverse.

    While my Earl is small enough to hide in my helmet as I am doing this..it still requires me to handle the firearm 'out in the open'.

    Any suggestions or advice? (No, getting a different gun or selling the motorcycle...well that just AIN'T gonna happen!)
    Last edited by Tess; 07-18-2010 at 09:42 PM.

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    Don't unload till you get home (unless it is into the BG tryin to kill you)
    Let's try not to encourage people to break the law.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    My question is what possible situation are you finding yourself in where you have to unload your revolver while you're out riding? Can't is just wait until you get home?

    The only situation I can imagine is if you are crossing a state line into a state that doesn't have OC or doesn't recognize your CC permit, and you are switching to "FOPA Transport" and locking it up unloaded...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    This is a tricky situation. I'm a little surprised there hasn't been any case law dealing with firearms and motorcycles. At least none that I'm aware of (please let me know any). I think you could find yourself charged under VA code 18.2-282 brandishing a firearm. All you would need is someone nearby stating that you merely holding your firearm caused them to be in fear. The code does not state that your intent has to be to cause fear or threaten another, but only requires that you are holding the gun in a manner that would cause fear (and we all know how people fear guns). I think it could go either way.. not saying that it would be fully prosecuted, but I could see this being charged.

    I would suggest just waiting until you got home or at least handling your firearm within a more private setting.
    Last edited by NovaCop10; 07-19-2010 at 04:31 AM.

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    After reading the post on the Open Carry in Nova thread, I understand better. Ride the motorcycle to the range, where they require unloaded carry through the store into the range (silly, but it's their rule). So he had to unload outside the store.

    I don't see how anyone could make a brandishing charge stick. Even if they were asinine enough to try, the gun is unloaded by the time the officer around the corner responds, and an unloaded gun is no threat to anyone. I'd question the judgment of an officer who tried, in fact.

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    Regular Member vt800c's Avatar
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    Question you got it exactly right!

    It was to go into Sharpshooters range. I'm sure they'd understand, but the other buildings and businesses may not be so understanding. If you've been there on a Sunday, you may know what I'm talking about.

    And that doesn't include the fact I had a second one, unloaded, in a hard case, carried in a backpack. with the rounds in boxes.

    Does that count as CC (As it's on my person..) or as I see it, simply transporting it as it's NOT readily accessable, it's in a second case, and it's unloaded. My backpack IS my 'trunk'.


    The easy questions have all been answered. it's time for the harder ones.

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    Don't Unload

    Quote Originally Posted by vt800c View Post
    Ok..I like to ride, and I am starting to open carry...but here's the thing: if you have to 'unload' you can drop a magazine and cycle the slide in the privacy of your car. the most it will look like is you're adjusting your shorts. On a motorcycle i don't HAVE that luxury. In fact, to remove the rounds I have to unholster, remove a retaining lever, pull a pin, remove the cylinder from the frame, push out the rounds and then put it all back together. Loading it is the reverse.

    While my Earl is small enough to hide in my helmet as I am doing this..it still requires me to handle the firearm 'out in the open'.

    Any suggestions or advice? (No, getting a different gun or selling the motorcycle...well that just AIN'T gonna happen!)
    Why are you having to unload and reload? If you carry a gun that is "ready to go" you shouldn't have to be messing with it at all.

    I carry all the time on my motorcycle and don't have to handle the firearm at all.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I''ve never had to do it but I just tried it a little while ago.

    Since you have to pull the pin and remove the cylinder on yours, I used my NAM mini Derringer then tried the same technique with two other revolvers with swing out cylinders.

    I used a Dry bag large enough to get both hands in comfortably. The only exposure the public would have to the gun was in drawing it and placing it in the bag. Put the bag on the seat, unload, remove the ammunition and then you can either hand carry the bag or place the bag and gun in a case or backpack.

    Reloading was just as simple.

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    vt800c do you have a large tank bag you could use to make your changes in? Prior to getting the jacket I have sometimes I'd carry in my tank bag with the firearm in a holster and I could do anything I needed in the tank bag. (Changes such as run a loose belt through the holster so I could put the combo on when entering a restaurant serving alcohol.)

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NovaCop10 View Post
    This is a tricky situation. I'm a little surprised there hasn't been any case law dealing with firearms and motorcycles. At least none that I'm aware of (please let me know any). I think you could find yourself charged under VA code 18.2-282 brandishing a firearm. All you would need is someone nearby stating that you merely holding your firearm caused them to be in fear. The code does not state that your intent has to be to cause fear or threaten another, but only requires that you are holding the gun in a manner that would cause fear (and we all know how people fear guns). I think it could go either way.. not saying that it would be fully prosecuted, but I could see this being charged.

    I would suggest just waiting until you got home or at least handling your firearm within a more private setting.
    I agree, use tact; if you absolutely must do it, do it inconspicuously and avoid the confrontation altogether.

    However, novacop, I think you're oversimplifying 18.2-282. "That law doesn't say simply cause someone to be in fear. It says "reasonably induce fear in the mind of another."


    • point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another

    or

    • hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured.


    I'm no cop, but I think you'd have a better chance of sticking § 18.2-56.1 than you would 18.2-282 if a guy was unloading his firearm in a public place. Though, even that probably wouldn't stick.

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vt800c View Post
    It was to go into Sharpshooters range. I'm sure they'd understand, but the other buildings and businesses may not be so understanding. If you've been there on a Sunday, you may know what I'm talking about.

    And that doesn't include the fact I had a second one, unloaded, in a hard case, carried in a backpack. with the rounds in boxes.

    Does that count as CC (As it's on my person..) or as I see it, simply transporting it as it's NOT readily accessable, it's in a second case, and it's unloaded. My backpack IS my 'trunk'.
    http://www.virginia1774.org/Page1.html#ConcealedWeapon
    Here, read that; and read Virginia Code section 18.2-308.

    Quote Originally Posted by vt800c View Post
    The easy questions have all been answered. it's time for the harder ones.
    That's a matter of perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tess View Post
    After reading the post on the Open Carry in Nova thread, I understand better. Ride the motorcycle to the range, where they require unloaded carry through the store into the range (silly, but it's their rule). So he had to unload outside the store.

    I don't see how anyone could make a brandishing charge stick. Even if they were asinine enough to try, the gun is unloaded by the time the officer around the corner responds, and an unloaded gun is no threat to anyone. I'd question the judgment of an officer who tried, in fact.
    Tess- The officer would need the "victim" to go before a magistrate to swear to the facts (a brandishing is misdemeanor, and in this case, not in the officer's presence). Although during most brandishing charges, officers will arrest the suspect for the misdemeanor not in his presence with the exception that he is a danger to others. If I found myself faced with this situation, I'd most likely not arrest the gun handler on scene. I would write up a report, give the "victim" the case number and let them know that they legally have the right to go before the magistrate to attempt to swear out a warrant. Let a magistrate decide if a law was violated.

    The brandishing code does not say the gun has to be loaded and a threat. In fact, you can get the charge with a plastic water gun. The code states "any object similar in appearance", which usually comes into play when a BG uses an airsoft gun to rob someone.
    Last edited by NovaCop10; 07-19-2010 at 01:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by virginiatuck View Post
    I agree, use tact; if you absolutely must do it, do it inconspicuously and avoid the confrontation altogether.

    However, novacop, I think you're oversimplifying 18.2-282. "That law doesn't say simply cause someone to be in fear. It says "reasonably induce fear in the mind of another."


    • point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another

    or

    • hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured.


    I'm no cop, but I think you'd have a better chance of sticking § 18.2-56.1 than you would 18.2-282 if a guy was unloading his firearm in a public place. Though, even that probably wouldn't stick.
    VirginiaTuck,

    There is not much case law for either brandishing or the reckless handling, which would help set the guidelines. I don't believe the 18.2-56.1 would apply to this situation. I think it would be difficult to prove that someone was reckless when they handled the firearm if they are familiar with the firearm and have the understanding that they are merely unloading it with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Maybe if they had it pointed towards someone or had their finger on the trigger while drunk, etc. Usually 18.2-56.1 is charged after someone discharges a weapon accidentally (usually they forget/don't know about the "one still in the chamber" while unloading it rule).

    See I think the closest charge for this type of incident would be the brandishing since you are handling a firearm in a public place where citizens are (obviously they would have to be there in order for anyone to know), which would be reasonable to believe it would induce reasonable fear in another nearby. I'm not even stating it would stick through court, but I think there might be enough P.C. to charge (reference my last post to Tess). I am not a prosecutor so this is only my opinion.
    Last edited by NovaCop10; 07-19-2010 at 01:56 PM.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by NovaCop10 View Post
    There is not much case law for either brandishing or the reckless handling, which would help set the guidelines.
    Maybe not in Virginia, but there is a lengthy and ongoing quest for parity on this issue in NC where "Going Armed to the Terror of the Public" (GATTTOTP) has four specific and reasonable-sounding criteria.

    Since this is Virginia and the law is different, please don't crucify me on crossover.

    I merely offer it as an example of what might be argued "brandishing" and how the burden would (should?) be on the perceived "victim" or witness.

    IANALNDIEWTB1.
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    Regular Member simmonsjoe's Avatar
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    Leave it holstered

    Most people who show up at a range are NOT carrying holstered guns. It may not be posted, but most ranges I've been to are not concerned with holstered pistols.
    Last edited by simmonsjoe; 07-19-2010 at 03:00 PM.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Every range I attend regularly has no issue with holstered guns, loaded or unloaded. I go to two ranged here in Eastern NC and I'm at the NRA HQ range about every other month, and ALWAYS OC there, and it's always loaded, and I've never had an issue.

    I'd suggest finding another range of the one you go to has an issue with loaded carry...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 07-19-2010 at 04:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    Maybe not in Virginia, but there is a lengthy and ongoing quest for parity on this issue in NC where "Going Armed to the Terror of the Public" (GATTTOTP) has four specific and reasonable-sounding criteria.

    Since this is Virginia and the law is different, please don't crucify me on crossover.

    I merely offer it as an example of what might be argued "brandishing" and how the burden would (should?) be on the perceived "victim" or witness.

    IANALNDIEWTB1.
    Interesting... I'll have to check into N.C. case law. Since VA and NC are both covered in the same federal circuit court of appeals (4th), rulings from both state help influence each other. I think leaving the burden up to the victim would be the best and most logical way to handle the situation. A citizen can attempt a warrant before a magistrate for any misdemeanor offense, so in this case, it would be no different. I would only write up a report to identify all involved, what I perceived, and basically to "CYA" myself in case a supervisor or citizen expresses I didn't do enough. Gotta keep that paycheck coming in.

    My whole opinion on the matter is that if you handle a gun in public, regardless of the reason, you are toeing the line of perhaps being charged. I don't think it would be worth it, even if you do get off the charges, you still have spent money and time for a lawyer, not to mention that you were arrested and that may affect your job/future jobs. I thought most ranges would allow you to have a holstered weapon? I have been to ranges that just don't let you "draw from the holster".

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NovaCop10 View Post
    I thought most ranges would allow you to have a holstered weapon? I have been to ranges that just don't let you "draw from the holster".
    Most do. Some don't.

    As to "holster drills"... at least to the ranges I've visited in Hampton Roads you would actually fall into the "special" class of shooters who are exempt from the restriction.
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    What ?

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    The OP said that he is unloading at the range which does not allow loaded firearms. With that said, does anyone really think that a brandishing charge would be filed or even called in, while he is on private property (the range's) unloading to enter? I doubt it even if he wasn't unloading in some bag. There are ranges in this area that have similar rules, Superior Pawn being one of them.

    So in the OP case I don't think he would have a problem. Now transfer that activity to the front of a school, if he goes to visit his daughter for lunch and there may be flashing lights on several cars approaching him!

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